Tag: Tea

Seven Things I Love (4-4-2022)

  1. 1. This Artist – I read about the Sir John Soane Museum on Atlas Obscura and have wanted to go ever since. I mean, any museum choked full of memorabilia and curiosities is in my wheelhouse. But despite my desire and numerous trips to London, I have yet to managed to visit.

Before I even knew that one of Gretchen Scherer’s paintings was a room in the Soane Museum, I was drawn to her work. I would love to see them in person – according to the Hyperallergic article, even though she has meticulously recreated the room down to minute details, she added a few details to get across personal messages. Those need to be seen in larger versions of the image to be visible.

Still, they are lovely. The square piece in the slideshow below is called “Sir John Soane’s Museum, Library and Dining Room” and it is the largest piece in her exhibit at Monya Rowe Gallery.

[Found on Hyperallergic]

2. This Hero – The Soldier who told the Russian warship to “Go Fuck Yourself” and then was captured along with a dozen of his fellow Ukrainian Soldiers has been released and received a medal for his bravery.

3. This Tea – a friend of mine brought me some of this tea when she came over for lunch last week – WOW!!! I have been looking for a herbal tea that I can drink that wouldn’t require me to add a ton of sweetener. And since I’m not using artificial sweetener anymore that basically means honey or raw sugar or agave nectar.

This fits the bill, in fact you won’t need any sweetener at all. And when it says it’s naturally sweet it’s completely true. There is no fake sugar in here and yet it’s still rather sweet. Well, sweet and spicy.

I still love a good cuppa (black tea with milk and sugar) but it’s really nice to have a second option now.

[Found by my friend Edell – thanks E!]

4. This Drug Disposal Program – When I first ran across this (can’t remember when or where) I decided to request the free pouch just for the heck of it.

I used to not have to worry at all about drug disposal because the municipality where I worked had a drop box right in the village hall where you could drop off meds (both prescription and OTC.)

I think a lot of people don’t realize how bad it is to toss medications. It’s obviously really, REALLY bad to put them down the drain or in the toilet, but it’s also bad to put them in the garbage. Eventually the containers could break open or decompose and the medications could get into the groundwater – it’s really no different than putting them down the drain/toilet.

That is why proper disposal is so important. I got rid of most of my extra meds right before I retired but over the past three years I’ve managed to accumulate some expired pharmaceuticals. When I decided I finally had enough I ripped open the package I received from Deterra.

I had thought that the package was going to be a pouch where you could mail in your meds for disposal. Oh no. This was SO EASY. All you need to do is take all the medications out of the bottles, rip open the top of the pouch, drop them all in, fill the pouch about half full with water, water 30 seconds, close the pouch (shake it a little to get the water/stuff inside to mix up with all the pills) and then TOSS IT IN THE TRASH!

The stuff in the pouch makes the pills safe for the environment. You can read more about it and order a free pouch here.

5. This Seinfeld Clip – This is from 1995. Ukrainians have always been bad ass.

6. This Career – I want to be a personal librarian! I suppose to do this you have to live in a place where there are a lot of rich people.

Private Librarian, Christy Shannon Smirl

[Found on Los Angeles Daily News]

7. This Photo from the 1980s – Cyndi Lauper playing miniature golf with Pee Wee Herman. This says all that needs to be said about the ’80s and it’s why it’ll always be my favorite decade.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Art by Rick Frausto

Seven Things I Love (7-12-2021)

  1. 1. These Japanese Pastries – Nobody makes more delicious looking pastries than the Japanese. These are from a patisserie in Iwakura, Japan. Aren’t they incredible? For more photos visit this Instagram.

2. This New Book by Architectural Writer John Ota – A friend of mine recommended this book and I must say, it wasn’t what I expected. It far exceeded my expectations!

Ota and his wife wanted to create the perfect kitchen so he decided to travel across North America visiting kitchens from various eras found in a baker’s dozen of renowned homes, several belonging to some rather famous people including Thomas Jefferson, Georgia O’Keefe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Julia Child and Louis Armstrong.

Each chapter begins with a simple, hand-drawn sketch of a kitchen as well as a floor plan. Not surprisingly, Ota discusses the aesthetics, features, and functionality of the kitchens but he also covers the history and culture of the person, place and/or time associated with the room. He ends the chapters with a short letter to his wife Fanny, sharing with her what he learned and what he felt they could incorporate into their own space.

Link to WorldCat.org (to see if your local public library has a copy)
Link to the book at Bookshop.org

3. This Video of Alan Rickman Making Tea – as the title says, it’s epic. (It’s been around for a while but Alan was trending a week or so ago and whenever I think of him I think of this, among the dozens of other fantastic roles he’s done.)

4. These Bulldog Puppies – If you don’t want to rub those little bellies you aren’t human. (And those piggies!)

5. This Art Jeweler, Sarella Suarez – I bought the piece below (in silver) at an art festival this weekend. I LOVE IT so much! It’s about 30 inches long so it can be doubled and worn as two necklaces or worn as one long necklace. During festival season many artists have few pieces listed on their websites so at the moment Sarella only has a couple things in her online shop – you may want to check back again around October.

6. This Hydrangea Bush – I love hydrangeas but I had never seen this color, isn’t it gorgeous??? A friend of mine and I went to the Whitefish Bay Art Fest on Saturday and we parked on one of the side streets. As we were making our way toward the main road we saw these. It wowed us.

7. This Trailer for Season Two of Ted Lasso – There are a lot of shows I’m watching but this one brings me the greatest joy. Ted Lasso is Mr. Rogers for adults. If you haven’t watched it yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. (Season two begins streaming on July 23rd!)

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (5-24-2021): History Edition

  1. 1. This Patent Drawing – Which finally puts to rest the question over or under. I don’t mean to gloat but I KNEW IT and my Mamma never lead me astray.

From My Modern Met:

Over or under? This is the question that has plagued the Western world since the invention of modern toilet paper. It was in 1857 that New York-based inventor Joseph C. Gayetty developed the first packaged variety to be made widely available in the U.S. However, it wasn’t until 1871 that perforated rolls of toilet paper were invented. Seth Wheeler filed a patent for his innovative design for the first time that year, and he filed another for a refined version of his invention again in 1891.

The illustrated diagram from Wheeler’s 1891 patent sheds some light on how the toilet paper roll was originally intended to be used. According to the image, it appears that the dangling end was designed to hang over—rather than under—the roll. This may be a crippling blow to those who are of the persuasion that under is the way to go. Even so, if hanging your toilet paper roll under is wrong, they probably don’t want to be right.

Original Patent Drawing Puts an End to the Great “Over or Under” Toilet Paper Debate” by Arnesia Young; May 13, 2021; My Modern Met

2. These Videos about Women’s Clothing in History – They are all just too good. The first talks about how women’s clothing may actually have been created to help protect. The second gives the history of how standard sizes came to be and the motivations behind doing so (hint, it’s always money.) The third video is a fascinating history of why men traditionally wear pants and women traditionally wear skirts (or did they….)

And last but not least (and this is a a wee bit of a stretch but I’m including it) a video about the clothing in the show ‘The Nevers‘ – my current favorite television show, which can be seen on HBO Max. They’ve already aired the first half of season one (8 episodes) and will be airing the second half sometime in the fall I believe (another 8 episodes.) As the vlogger mentions, the show is extremely historically accurate with their costumes (and she should know, it is her area of expertise.) She takes the opportunity to bust the myth that clothing from that era was extremely restrictive. There have been anti-corset campaigns for some time. Certainly the extremely boned corsets that reshape the body are not/were not good, but for women of this era most weren’t wearing the tightly drawn or heavily boned corsets (like Scartlett O’Hara). Unless a woman was from a wealthy family she would have been quite active and probably wouldn’t have had the luxury of having a ladies maid.

3. This Article about the New Version of the Game ‘Oregon Trail’ – A fascinating essay where the author, who is a black historian, is in a battle between his longing for childhood nostalgia and truth-telling in history. Is there really any correct way to make a game about colonialization?

John Gast, “American Progress” (1872), oil on canvas, 12 3/4 inch x 16 3/4 inch
(image courtesy Wikimedia Commons, painting in possession of Autry Museum of the American West)

4. This Article on Book Curses – In medieval times, because books were handmade, written by scribes, and took a long time to make, they were rare and had great physical value. Most scribes and book owners did not have the financial means to protect their libraries with armed guards so instead they used words to fend off would-be thieves. Fortunately for them, most people believed in curses so it worked fairly well.

What I want to know is why don’t we use book curses today? They would look so nice on a bookplate. Even if most people don’t believe in curses anymore, at least it would remind them to keep their paws off of things that aren’t theirs.

I looked up some more and found one [here] that I am going to make into stickers so I can put it inside all my books:

Whoever steals this book
Will hang on a gallows in Paris,
And, if he isn’t hung, he’ll drown,
And, if he doesn’t drown, he’ll roast,
And, if he doesn’t roast, a worse end will befall him.

From a 15th century manuscript owned by Count Jean d’Orleans.
12th century Hell. Herrad von Landsberg/Public Domain.

5. These Articles about Coco Chanel and Her Nazi Connections – I’ve always been a huge fan of Coco Chanel so when I first read about this it made me extremely sad. The first article was from nearly a decade ago and appeared on MessyNessyChic. It was written about eight months after the book Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War by Hal Vaughan was released. This was the first book to really include details about her involvement with the Nazis (not just that she was dating one) such as her code name, agent number, that she was included in nazi missions and worst of all, that she had taken advantage of her “Aryan rights” (meaning the seizing of Jewish-owned property and businesses.)

The second article was equally interesting. This one appeared on Forbes last year. The author is trying to determine if we can justify overlooking such a horrifying past in someone like Coco Chanel, whose left such a legacy. It’s an interesting question. I think this might be a good analogy – what if there was a building built by the nazis and after the war, all that remained was the foundation. So the French come and build a ground floor and the English build a 1st floor and the Norwegians build a 2nd floor (I’m doing the european counting of floors) and the Danish build a 3rd floor and so forth. And each floor is filled with beautiful things. But ultimately that base was built by nazis – should the entire thing be torn down and rebuilt? Should it be moved? I don’t think so.

BUT what I do think is that Chanel should stop avoiding Coco Chanel’s horrific history. I know that they think it can’t be good for PR but what they need to do is use it to help and get ahead of it. Just admit – we realize that our founder was a nazi sympathizer, possibly a nazi collaborator and our response is that we are appalled by the information as much as you are. Our founder was a talented woman and we cannot deny that Chanel wouldn’t exist without her genius but the nazi atrocities were unforgivable and that she was involved is a huge black stain on the origin of our company. They could put their money where their mouth is and contribute to a Holocaust organization.

My believe is that we should not be completely erasing bad history but instead we should be making it accurate and using it as a teaching opportunity.

6. This Article about How Women in the UK/Ireland Were Duped into Believing it was Bad to Drink Tea – Though it’s me who is saying that the women were actually duped. The article implies it but doesn’t come right out and say it. Neither does this one.

Here’s the situation – first and foremost, tea was considered expensive back then. So was sugar if you wanted to sweeten it (because milk and honey in tea just doesn’t work.) Right away men (husbands and fathers) were going to say that women shouldn’t be drinking something as expensive as tea.

Then there were the wealthy, who liked to feel that drinking tea was something the gentrified did, certainly not the poor.

And of course, there was concern that women who sat around drinking tea would have time to talk to one another and that could lead to anarchy.

Even without social media, the “powers that be” managed to get messages out that women shouldn’t be drinking tea – said it was “unhealthy”, it made you lazy, etc. And the worse part is that the poor, uneducated women were the ones that bought into the lies and helped spread it. Hmmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar.

c. 1900 The Glencar Tea House in County Leitrim

7. This ‘Self Portrait’ by Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston – I was thrilled when I finally found out who this photo was of and what it was about. I’ve loved it for years! Taken around 1896 by the photographer herself, it is supposed to represent the “new woman.”

Here’s a great article about the photo and the photographer from Smithsonian.

Frances Benjamin Johnston could be both ladylike and bohemian, which abetted her career as a photographer. (Library of Congress)

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Seven Things I Love (5-10-2010)

  1. 1. This Little Girl Who Got To Meet Her Hero, Rey from Star Wars – This shows how important it is that we have more strong, female lead characters in films. I LOVE Rey. I wish we had role models like her when I was a kid. “Younger” Leia was okay but nothing like some of the women girls have today, even “older” Leia. Still, it’s only a start.

2. This Essay by George Orwell on How to Make a “Nice Cup of Tea” – Originally published in The London Evening Standard on January 12, 1946, the essay includes eleven rules that Orwells says you need to be follow to make a good cuppa. The text below is rather small so if you click on the graphic it will take you to the Orwell Foundation website and the full text (which is owned by the Orwell Estate and Penguin Books and why I’m not reprinting it here.)

3. This Swedish Street Food: Tunnbrödsrulle – Tunnbrödsrulle is mashed potatoes, sausage or hot dogs, lettuce, shrimp salad, mayonnaise dressing, onions, ketchup and mustard all wrapped up in a thin piece of flatbread. Anthony Bourdain once said that one particular Swedish street food was, “…the most disgusting thing ever…and I love it.” I know that I want to try it! I May give it a go this summer if a few other people are game to try it with me…

(By the way, I found out about Tunnbrödsrulle from Beryl Shereshewsky who is one of my most recent obsessions. She did a video on how people [around the world] eat hot dogs. Here it is.)

4. This Image that Shows How the Athenian acropolis may have looked with its original paintwork back in the 5th century BCE – I LOVE these sort of then and now images. I wish there were more of them.

5. This NYC Ballerina with Alzheimer’s Listening to Swan Lake – no explanation necessary.

6. These Virtual Origami Classes through the Japanese Culture Center in Chicago – Lasting only 30 minutes, they are held every Wednesday and Saturday. It’s just the right amount of time to do one project. Loads of fun and by doing it every week you can improve your skills.

The classes on Wednesday and Saturday are the same so choose which day works better for you; the class is at 1 pm on both days. The cost is a donation – recommended amount is between $5-10 per class. You can sign up for a free trial class here.

I made this on Saturday (my first class.) In case you can’t tell, it’s a table and chair. The thing I think is great about these items is the first several folds for these are used for many other origami pieces.

7. This Photo of LeVar Burton and Patrick Stewart – Two of my most favorite people on the planet. (By the way, Levar did a new ad for Ryan Reynold’s Aviation Gin and not surprisingly it was a hoot!)

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Three good friends went for a swim.
The one who was fat wished she was thin.
The one who was curvy wished she was clever.
The one who was clever wished she swam better.
The really great swimmer wished she was witty.
The one who was witty wished she was pretty.
All three friends thought the other two were just fine.
If only they could let their own bright light shine.
So throw on your swimsuit if you’re fat or you’re thin.
Enjoy fun and friendship …. love the skin that you’re in!


Seven Things I Love (12-7-2020)

How is it already DECEMBER????

1. This Tea Party – Truly amazing. I belong to the Facebook group called ‘The Gilded Age Society.’ The Edwardian Era has always been my favorite time period, even before ‘Downton Abbey’ was a thing. Recently a young person name Paul Ryan T. Co, who is also a member of the group, posted these photos. He recreated a most magnificent Edwardian Era tea. I wrote to him immediately and asked if I could share the photos and he said yes so here they are.

An Edwardian Tea created by Paul Ryan T. Co

Here are some of the details included in Paul’s description:

The menu includes fresh fruits, dried fruit with nuts, chicken truffle quiche, scones with clotted cream and jam, and the pièce de résistance is a Lady Baltimore cake, which is a white cake filled with nuts and figs and then frosted with a fluffy marshmallow meringue icing. THAT sounds divine!

Paul used the original 1906 recipe which was copied in several newspapers, including Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s Daily Gazette and BulletinThe Columbus Journal, and The Washington Times.

There is a fascinating history of the cake on this site.

I myself might try a more modern recipe and am thinking of giving Martha’s version a try.

Additionally, the service is traditional to the period. It’s made up of an American sterling tea set by Gorham from the 1880s, a set of monogrammed sterling cutlery by Watson from 1902, a silver cake server by Whiting (from their King Edward pattern introduced in 1900 to commemorate Edward’s accession to the throne, which makes it rare), a Ridgeway dessert service, a Minton cake pedestal, a double-handled, molded Prussian cake plate, and a trio of Coalport tea cups (all produced from the late 1800s to early 1900s.) This guy needs to be hired by a production company, STAT! He’s a true artist.

Tell me you wouldn’t pay beaucoup bucks to attend a tea at this place!

2. This Governmental Body – The Irish Parliament discussed the “Santa Claus Issue” and formally announced that Santa is exempt from their national quarantine, that he will indeed still be visiting homes in Ireland, but social distancing should still be practiced and people should remain 2 meters away from him. Gotta LOVE THIS!

3. This Xfinity Short Film – It’s not really an advertisement. I saw a brief clip of this on television and it was so intriguing I wanted to watch the entire thing. Steve Carrell is a fine Santa Claus!

4. This Video on Mourning a Relationship You Never Had – I love Anna Akana so much and I really wish that she could time travel back to the early 80s and tell me exactly what she says in the video. Course I’m not sure if I would have been smart enough back then to listen to her.

5. This IG of Chris Evans Playing the Piano! – just when you think he can’t get any more adorable/perfect/wonderful….

and then watch Jimmy Fallon’s response to Chris’s piano playing viral video, it’s HILARIOUS.

6. These Recipes and Tips for Roasting Chestnuts – unless you live in a pretty large city (with lots of pedestrian traffic) you probably don’t run across many places selling roasted chestnuts during the Christmas season (despite what Hallmark movies makes Christmas look like). Myself, I’d actually never had them until well into my 50s.

I don’t have a gas stove so I have two options – one is two use my gas grill and the other is to roast them in the oven. I prefer them on the grill because they’re on an open flame but when it’s too cold (doesn’t happen much anymore with climate change) or when I’m visiting family and it’s too much of a hassle, the oven method works just fine. Especially when I use them in recipes, with, oh, for example, Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon.

In fact, last Christmas I tried to make the above recipe at my sister-in-law/brother’s house. In the notes it says, “If you prefer to roast fresh chestnuts instead of using vacuum-packed ones, cut a slit in the shell of each chestnut with a serrated knife.” I’m going to tell you something – a freaking serrated knife will not slit the shell of a chestnut. I mean, it will, but it’s like trying to saw wood with a butter knife.

Recently I ran across this nifty gadget and now I know that next year I will be completely prepared! It will score the chestnut so that it doesn’t explode while roasting (after all, that’s the primary reason why you’re cutting it.) Once you roast it, it should be easy to peel.

Bring it on Christmas 2021! I’m ready for you…

Chestnut Nutcracker

7. This Search Result When You Google Alex Trebek – SO sweet!

Before I get to the Word and Quote of the Week I strongly recommend that you watch these two movies before the end of the month. They are very different films but there’s one major similarity – you will figure it out quickly.

What I couldn’t help but think while watching both of them is how much better the world would be if people weren’t so judgmental and how so much bad behavior – masculine toxicity, repressed emotions, abusive tendencies, the list is endless – are passed on from generation to generation.

The first movie is Uncle Frank – amazing cast.

The second is The Happiest Season and it’s on Hulu (Dan Levy not surprisingly steals every scene he’s in.)


Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Never Forget…